Why Apply?

Now in their 24th year, the AoC Beacon Awards have grown to represent the very best approaches that FE colleges from across the UK are adopting to meet the skills needs of their local employers and the career aspirations of their students.

Former President of the AoC Charitable Trust Lord Willis of Knaresborough speaks about what he has learned since being involved with the awards, what they mean to colleges, how they have evolved and about his 'stand out' college.

Applying for the Beacon Awards can result in numerous benefits: it gives colleges an opportunity to pause and reflect on the successful approaches they have developed to teaching and learning, to review the positive impact that they are having on their students and the difference they are making to their lives.

All the colleges that apply help to energise not only the awards but also the wider sector by demonstrating imaginative, innovative and responsive ways to support their students, staff and communities, with the winning colleges' submissions forming a register of best practice, that is a valuable resource for colleges.

Listen to the podcast run by the Chief Assessor on the benefits of applying and discussion of what makes a good application.

Dame Pat Bacon, Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards Steering Groups elaborates on some of the key features of the awards.

National Recognition

Winning colleges benefit from the high regard in which the awards are held, which is excellent for their reputation and prestige. We work with the winning colleges to run national online, radio and print PR campaigns, which can reach up to 8.5 million people, to promote the winning colleges and their sponsors.

Each year the awards are presented at a prestigious Beacon Awards National Ceremony, to which Ministers and MPs, as well as college staff and principals, sponsors and assessors are all invited.

There is a further opportunity for winning colleges to showcase their approaches at the AoC Annual Conference, where these colleges run breakout sessions so that delegates from other colleges can hear more about the benefits to learners.

Please visit the How to Apply section to view the 2017-18 award categories and to find out more about the application process.


What does winning an AoC Beacon Award mean to you?

HR Director Jane Simpson, from Kirklees College, speaks at the AoC Annual Conference about what winning the City & Guilds Award for Staff Development means to her.

What does winning an AoC Beacon Award mean for your students?

Canterbury College's Students' Union Manager Tony Payne explains how winning the NAMSS Student Services Award helps to demonstrate that "students can achieve".

What would you say to colleges thinking of applying for an award?

Kathryn Rudd, Principal, and Fiona Voysey, Assistant Principal, encourage colleges thinking of applying to "[...] get out there and show people what you can do".

Stay up-to-date with the latest Beacon Awards and Gold Awards news by following AoC Charitable Trust on Twitter @AoC_Trust